Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Rate Is Much Higher Compared To Past Centuries

Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Rate Is Much Higher Compared To Past Centuries

Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Rate Is Much Higher Compared To Past Centuries

Surface melting across Greenland's mile-thick ice sheet began increasing in the mid-19 century and then ramped up dramatically during the 20 and early 21 centuries, showing no signs of abating, according to new research published December 5, 2018, in the journal Nature.

The study was published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature. "As a result, Greenland melt is adding to sea level more than any time during the last three and a half centuries, if not thousands of years", Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University's School of Earth & Environment and former postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said in a statement.

"We show that although melt started to increase around the pre- to post-industrial transition, it really stayed fairly low and stable until about the 1990s", Das said.

Today, the ice is melting 50 percent faster than it did before industrialisation and 33 percent faster than during the 20th century.

Despite mounting research on anthropogenic global warming and alarm among scientists about the closing window to avert climate catastrophe, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress continue to push for fossil-fuel friendly policies and roll back regulations meant to curb planet-warming emissions.

At the moment, conservative estimates of global sea level rise predict an additional half a meter or more by the end of the century, according to German news agency Deutsche Welle (DW).


As the ice sheet melts it becomes slightly darker, absorbing more sunlight and melting more, even if temperatures do not change, while increased melting can generate impermeable ice layers which exacerbate runoff.

Climate change has forced the melting of Greenland's mile-thick ice sheet into "overdrive", threatening to boost global sea levels to risky levels.

According to the analysis, melting on the Greenland ice sheet sped up in the mid-1800s, shortly after the onset of industrial-era warming in the Arctic. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues.

Because of much of Greenland's ice remains frozen all year round, the cores contained evidence of past melting as far back as the 17th Century. Contrary, at higher elevations, the meltwater quickly refreezes due to contact with the snowpack underneath. This layered pattern allows researchers to estimate how much melt took place each year, going back about 350 years. Over the last 20 years, melt intensity has increased 250 to 575 percent compared to pre-industrial melt rates. This frozen meltwater creates distinct ice bands that pile up over years to form layers of densely packed ice. Thicker melt layers represented years of higher melting, while thinner sections indicated years with less melting.

The scientists combined the results from ice cores with satellite data and climate models to reconstruct melt-water runoff at lower elevations on the edge of the ice sheet that contributes to sea level rise. He added, "I don't know how many more nails we need". Now, even a very small temperature change in the region can cause huge spikes in ice sheet melting, according to the study.

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